Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles
Locke, metaphysics, miracles, essentialism, God
If the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary, then it appears that miracles are metaphysically impossible. Yet Locke accepts both essentialism, which takes the laws to be metaphysically necessary, and the possibility of miracles. I argue that the apparent conflict here can be resolved if the laws are by themselves insufficient for guaranteeing the outcome of a particular event. This suggests that, on Locke’s view, the laws of nature entail how an object would behave absent divine intervention. While other views of laws also make miracles counterfactually depen- dent on God’s will, I show how this view is consistent with the essentialist commit- ment to the view that the laws are metaphysically necessary. Further, I argue that Locke’s view is a relatively attractive version of essentialism, in part, because it allows for the possibility of miracles.
Original Publication Citation
“Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles,” Southern Journal of Philosophy v. 52, n. 2 (2018)
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Rockwood, Nathan, "Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles" (2018). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 22.
The Southern Journal of Philosophy